The good, the bad and the wildly ambiguous [2/3]
Part two, and here we are onto something truly BAD.
Tree of Life [Movie]
0/10 – this movie is a big, hot gush of cocaine-addled art-feces.
I walked out of Snowtown but that took a while, and in spite of rating it 4/10 I still feel some grudging respect for that film. Not so for Terrence Mallick’s latest epic; I was gone in about twenty minutes. Watching ‘Tree of Life’ is like taking acid then getting a sermon on the beauty of the universe from a heavily overweight guy who stands way too close to you and spits when he talks.
Really, it is inconceivably bad. They try for a trippy, almost shamanic narrative loosely based around the loss of a child/brother. After twenty minutes, the audience is subjected to some really half-baked philosophical musing, interspersed by maybe ten disjointed sentences and all kinds of disconnected, wobbly footage of some vaguely nature-themed stuff. There are many, many slow-panning shots of the solar system, mostly set to opera music. At a few points Brad Pitt and Sean Penn turn up and look angsty and bereaved, providing the barest smear of plot necessary to justify the stupid shit you are subjected to. I fled in search of beer before I got to the true nadir of this film: apparently there are CG dinosaurs at one point.
Philistine aspires to cut through the profuse wankery of the art world to provide the fine reader with a neat fillet of just the good bits. Films like this remind me why I blog. The number of critics that like this film truly appals me – it won the Palme d’Or (that’s the highest award at Cannes) and even the snarky guys at Pajiba rated it highly. It is beyond me that so many smart people can conspire to be so pretentious with such consistency. Cannes, I spit on you.
(Edit: The Mistress just got home. She sat through the whole thing and said it got a bit less awful. Apparently it was still pretty confused and nothing really happened.)